Lately, art has been disappearing from my walls, unceremoniously shoved in cupboards or tucked away in corners of closets. All this rearranging has been necessary to make way for er, ahem - a few, shall we say, original paintings by Vanessa Valencia. A small collection really.
It all started with the Strange Beautiful Lady. And then who could resist Pan's Widow, Rescuing of the Mime - and the rest? If you come to Paris, you can visit the Galerie de Vanessa Valencia Art Extraordinaire . Admission is free - but if you try to take a painting home with you, a note of caution: I have a very sensitive alarm system.
You, too can own some of Vanessa's delightful, whimsical art. Visit her etsy shop to check for updates on original work or for canvas prints of her paintings, as well as notecards and pottery.
Even more than art, I like collecting memories. But volumes of those memories are the treasure hunts involved in acquiring physical collections.
I have several collections including photographs, books, American Fiestaware, McCoy pottery, Native American pottery, English ironstone, French Limoges, religious icons, Madonna crowns, French Art Nouveau pieces, English and Belgian Arts & Crafts pieces and antique lace. The list goes on...
I've become an enthusiastic collector only in the last seven-and-a-half years living in Europe, where there are wonderful tempting objets d' art practically everywhere I go. As a journalist, I lived like a nomad for so long, that I lost many possessions in the process. I did manage to keep most of my books and photographs.
A few favourite items also survived the moves, including many of my daughter's toys and books and a small collection of stones. But for the most part, until 1996 in San Francisco, we didn't keep anything that wouldn't fit into a suitcase or box. The nesting instinct kicked in full force in France, where I've stayed in one place for the longest time in my adult life.
And it's not just me. Collecting has become a global phenomenon, with numerous clubs, books, magazines and websites devoted to specific areas of interest. Tell me about what you like to collect. Is it art? Or maybe you prefer coins, stamps or marbles? Perhaps you're into aquiring high-end objects such as classic cars and vintage diamonds? Maybe you like to scoop up seashells, sand dollars and sea glass while taking long walks on the beach? Or perhaps your passion is digging for arrowheads and pottery shards?
Whatever you collect, do you consider your finds an investment, which will appreciate in value or do you collect things simply because you like them? I do both, although usually I end up selling the things I buy as an investment rather quickly. I find if I'm not absolutely thrilled with the item, it just takes up space, as I won't display it - other than to a potential buyer. So out it goes.
I look for quirky objects that speak to me, not things that are necessarily expensive or valuable. A heart-shaped rock can make my heart skip a beat, just as much as finding a rare first edition of T.E. Lawrence's book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. What collections make your heart sing?
Photo of Pan's Widow courtesy of Vanessa Valencia. Read about more phenomenons at Sunday Scribblings.